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a genus of annual or perennial herbaceous plants of the family Gentianaceae. The flowers are white, lilac, dark blue, or purple-violet; the inflorescence is a panicle. The fruit is a two- valved globose capsule. There are about 35 mainly tropical species, growing in India, East Asia, the Malay Archipelago, and the island of Socotra. Some ornamental species are raised in conservatories. Popular ornamentals include E. affine, which has numerous lilac flowers with yellow anthers, and E. zeylanicum, which has large azure flowers.